“Thief” Dark Secrets, Part 2

The Whetstone. Within the Hammer tangle of orders and chapters is a fearsome shadow, the Order of the Whetstone. These scary men are the intelligence arm for the Architect himself, watching friend and foe alike for signs of weakening or faithlessness. You were inducted into their order as a small child, but raised like others. You report to the Whetstone, and they have power—political, economic, superstitious, and mystical. Revealing their existence to non-Hammers is worth your life, and speaking to Hammers of it is exceedingly unwise. Report to your masters through the regular coded channels, and don’t give them a reason to doubt your loyalty.

The Righteous Burst. In your foolish youth, caught up in enthusiasm, you joined a Hammer faction called the Righteous Burst. They believed that exploring gunpowder, cannons, and the like was the future of the order, and they were intensely iconoclastic. That was seriously dangerous in the Hammer structure, and the order was outlawed, its leaders put to death, and its membership dealt with. You escaped, but you have cause to regret having their symbol tattooed on your body. You are reluctant to even have it tattooed over, because you are not sure who to trust, and the artist might report you.

Pleasure and Secrets. As a child you were pimped out to the debauched noble parties of Audale. There was horror in the lifestyle, but also pleasures of wealth and comfort, so you grew up a little twisted. On the edge of puberty, you went to the party of a powerful noble, and while you were with a masked Hammer priest, you overhead a conversation about a political secret worth your life. Realizing your danger, you managed to escape, fleeing your handlers and the lifestyle. But you know the voice of the Hammer you were with, and the face of his conspirator, and you know that’s worth your life should you ever be found and connected to that night.

Wanted for Murder. It was a dark night outside the tavern, and two men were hassling a young woman who obviously didn’t want to go with them. You intervened, knives were drawn, then one man was dead and the other fleeing. In a breathless moment, you recognized the girl as a pagan from the Park, then she ran too. By the time you got out of there, the streets were crawling with the city guard, led by the wounded escapee, hunting for you—as it turns out, you knifed a nobleman’s son. A year has passed, but you keep your ears open, and know that there’s a bounty out for someone matching your description and known by your previous name, wanted by the law (which is bad) and the noble (which is worse.)

Debt. Your mother fell ill, and your father succumbed to the temptation of easy riches through crime to afford her doctors. He was sent off to Cragscleft, leaving you to handle the situation. You brashly negotiated with a local criminal, who generously loaned you funds. Your mother died anyway, and now you were in the pocket of the gangster, who wanted to sell your body to lechers. You welched on the debt, accidentally killing one of the enforcers in the process. Now, if your new cover is blown, you’ll have a debt that has probably geometrically grown in the intervening time, and a criminal with an army of thugs to help collect it.

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